The peso ended flat against the dollar on Tuesday, March 6, following the February inflation print released earlier in the day amid the market jitters following President Donald J. Trump’s protectionist policies.

The local currency ended Tuesday’s trading session at P52 against the greenback, trading flat from its finish Monday.

The peso opened the session stronger at P51.885-per-dollar, while its intraday high stood at P51.81. Its worst showing, meanwhile, was at P52.04 against the US currency.

Dollars traded rose to $808 million on Tuesday from the $565.5 million that changed hands in the previous session.

Traders interviewed said the peso moved sideways following the faster-than-expected inflation print in February.

“The peso moved sideways today as the market interpreted the 2006 and 2012-based Philippine inflation data [yesterday] as mixed readings relative to the BSP’s (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) 4%-inflation target,” a trader said in an e-mail.

Meanwhile, UnionBank of the Philippines Chief Economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion said in a text message that Mr. Trump’s protectionist stance also factored into the foreign exchange.

Mr. Trump said he is not backing down in pushing for the 25% tariff on imported steel and the 10% tariff on imported aluminum.

“To protect our [c]ountry we must protect American [s]teel! #AMERICA FIRST,” Mr. Trump said in a tweet on Monday.

For Wednesday, March 7, traders said the peso will move between P51.80 and P52.20. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal